Jamie Lard

Spokesperson for Perkins School for the Blind

Before, when I was a baby, the doctor had told my parents that I would never learn how to communicate and that I would not be able to become independent. He told my parents that I would have to stay in the hospital for my entire life. That would have been awful …. And my parents… brought teachers to my home and they taught me how to get up and walk around and also learn how to communicate and sign different things, like cookie and bathroom.

Jaimi Lard was born deafblind in 1964. She was born deaf and blind because her mother was stricken with Rubella, German measles, when she was pregnant with Jaimi. Jaimi has two brothers, but she is the only person in her family who is deaf and blind. When she was three years old, Jaimi attended a Deaf school in New York but soon moved to Perkins School for the Blind from age five. She remained at Perkins until her graduation at the age of twenty-two. It was here, at Perkins School for the Blind, where she learned how to communicate and truly flourished as an individual. Jaimi was taught through many different methods of communication including tadoma, oralism, written English, Braille, and finally, tactile American Sign Language. Jaimi currently lives in Watertown, MA with another deafblind individual and works at Perkins School for the Blind as their spokesperson. She travels to many schools and a variety of other places sharing in her experience with Perkins and her accomplishments as a Deafblind woman in today’s society.

Interview
Interview Date: 
February 13, 2009
Transcript: